5 Services Stocks Driving The Sector Higher

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 68 points (-0.5%) at 14,443 as of Monday, March 25, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,111 issues advancing vs. 1,777 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Services sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Apollo Group ( APOL), up 9.8%, McGraw-Hill Companies Incorporated ( MHP), up 3.1%, Melco Crown Entertainment ( MPEL), up 2.4%, AmerisourceBergen ( ABC), up 1.8% and Lowe's Companies ( LOW), up 1.0%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include eBay ( EBAY), down 3.6%, Luxottica Group ( LUX), down 2.5%, Expeditors International of Washington ( EXPD), down 2.3%, Whole Foods Market ( WFM), down 2.1% and W.W. Grainger ( GWW), down 2.2%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Best Buy ( BBY) is one of the companies pushing the Services sector higher today. As of noon trading, Best Buy is up $0.48 (2.1%) to $23.26 on average volume Thus far, 5.9 million shares of Best Buy exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $22.62-$23.46 after having opened the day at $22.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $22.78.

Best Buy Co., Inc. operates as a retailer of consumer electronics, computing and mobile phone products, entertainment products, appliances, and related services primarily in the United States, Europe, Canada, and China. Best Buy has a market cap of $7.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 89.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Best Buy a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Best Buy as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk. Get the full Best Buy Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Yum Brands ( YUM) is up $1.01 (1.4%) to $70.70 on light volume Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Yum Brands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.30-$70.98 after having opened the day at $70.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.69.

YUM! Brands, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates quick service restaurants in the United States and internationally. It operates in six segments: YUM Restaurants China, YUM Restaurants International, Taco Bell U.S., KFC U.S., Pizza Hut U.S., and YUM Restaurants India. Yum Brands has a market cap of $31.3 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Yum Brands a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Yum Brands as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Yum Brands Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) is up $0.91 (1.7%) to $54.75 on average volume Thus far, 4.3 million shares of Las Vegas Sands exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.25-$55.79 after having opened the day at $54.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.84.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. develops, owns, and operates integrated resorts in Asia and the United States. Las Vegas Sands has a market cap of $44.8 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 17 analysts that rate Las Vegas Sands a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Las Vegas Sands as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Las Vegas Sands Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Visa ( V) is up $2.56 (1.6%) to $162.65 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Visa exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $160.50-$163.16 after having opened the day at $160.71 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $160.09.

Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. Visa has a market cap of $84.3 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Visa a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Visa as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Visa Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Comcast ( CMCSA) is up $0.43 (1.0%) to $41.65 on heavy volume Thus far, 12.4 million shares of Comcast exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $41.27-$41.71 after having opened the day at $41.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.22.

Comcast Corporation operates as a media and technology company worldwide. It operates through Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment, and Theme Parks segments. Comcast has a market cap of $87.0 billion and is part of the media industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Comcast a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Comcast as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Comcast Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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